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Collaboration + creativity + math = BIG results!

Pine Lane basketball court

What do a basketball court and a classroom have in common?

At Pine Lane Elementary School, the empty palette of the court and the culmination of math lessons in the classroom provided all that was needed to end the year on a colorful note.

Fourth-grade Teacher Lindsey Anderson integrated all the math skills students learned throughout the year with a giant, collaborative art project for all of the fourth-grade students at Pine Lane.

The project involved 150 students who spent a week measuring, planning, and solving problems to find the area of the space being painted. Students measured the perimeter of the space and used equations to find the area of the circles and the rectangle, determining they had a total of over 4,000 square feet of space to paint. Each student painted an average of 18 square feet. 

The process played out through several steps.

  1. Measure the length and width of the basketball court to find the area.
  2. Measure the radius of the large circle.
  3. Subtract the area of the circle from the area of the basketball court to find the new total area being painted.
  4. Measure the area of the small circle and add the area found in the step above. 
  5. Estimate the amount of space left black in the middle of the circle using fractions and add back to total. 
  6. Divide the total area being painted by the number of kids painting to get an average square footage that each student will paint.

The finished product, a giant peace sign surrounded by a mosaic of colors and patterns, makes an impressive statement about the learning and teamwork of the Pine Lane students.

Prinicipal Danelle Hiatt was delighted with the results, exclaiming, “It's so cool, and a great example of 21st century learning!”

June 3, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Pine Lane Elementary School, Elementary Education

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glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.